Luke is adamantly opposed to anything that would put me in or even near a holding facility. I know why, but I’m not sure I agree with him. His father worked in a holding facility his entire career. Luke hates them, believes they are the vilest places on Earth. He views them as if they are prisons. But, they’re not. They got rid of prisons after the pandemics. There were so few criminals, so few people that would do anything to upset the tender balance that tilted things towards life, that they weren’t really needed.
But, over the years, there have been enough bad apples, enough problem souls who committed crimes and owed society a debt. So, we have holding facilities. The smaller crimes require short-term holding facilities. There, people can get some rehabilitation therapy and serve their debt to society through donation of living goods — like blood or tissue or stem cells. The long-term holding facilities are places for the most depraved in society. They hold those sentenced to death. Not some purposeless killing, but death by giving life — a heart, lungs, liver, both kidneys, whatever a person who truly believes in Life First needs.
Holding facilities aren’t great places, but Luke’s experience is solely with long-term facilities. Surely, a short-term facility has to be better. I wonder if Dr. Grant is onto something. A short-term holding facility won’t be the end of the world, especially if it buys me more time.
“Maybe he’s right, Luke,” I say, a tinge of hope in my voice. “Maybe, if I go willingly, there might be an opportunity for me to escape.”
“No one’s ever escaped from a holding facility,” Luke spits. Then he pauses, reconsiders. “At least, not the way you mean.”
I close my eyes. Suicides. Those have been the only escapees. And that was only in the beginning. Most of the inmates in long-term holding facilities go insane and are kept heavily sedated or straight jacketed. They can’t stand the waiting, the knowing that at any moment, without notice, they’ll be told they’re dying today. That their heart is needed for a transplant to someone who puts life first. That their time here is done. That Life First, the mantra drummed into their heads since childhood, means nothing. The hypocrisy alone would drive one mad, let alone the prospect of being the parts drawer society reaches into to cure its neediest patients.
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